I have to wonder why weekends tend to lead me down the path of more serious rants? Maybe it’s I have more free time to think, emails not coming in every 10 seconds and I have time to stop and sit back and reflect on the last week. But it’s always the way. Let’s face it everyone loves a good contemplative Sunday rant. Maybe they are more bearable with a hangover? Or maybe I’m just jealous if all the people out there with hangovers? Whatever…. The point is we are entering deep contemplative rant territory. Hold on to your hats or your asses, whichever you prefer, I don’t mind.
As children, looking at adults it seems all times it’s fucking brilliant. You get to make the rules, make all the choices and are the master if your own destiny. Looked fucking fab right? You hit adult territory and say between the ages if 18 and 24 things are JUST how you imagined. Life is fucking awesome. You know why? You finally have that freedom you’ve been coveting your whole entire life. Then the bomb hits, the proverbial double-edged sword. Responsibility. You suddenly have a shit load of it and it all sits squarely on your shoulders. It’s a fucking heavy burden and what the living fuck this was never in the plan. But see the plans of a child versus the adult world are galaxies apart. In exchange for this freedom there are real life, fuck it up, you pay the consequences responsibilities.
We are talking passing university (if you go that route), getting a job, paying bills, looking after smaller humans and you know the shit that really counts. Ironically it also is the stuff that impeach on those converted freedoms. Because if said responsibilities are not met, not only are your freedoms now severity limited, you can end up homeless but you can also end up in jail. Green and orange do not go with my skin tone, so I’m trying to avoid that. Given my what can be unpredictable nature and let’s just say hair-trigger temper, I’m glad I have someone to pay that helps keep me out of jail.
We not only have responsibilities to ourselves, but to others and the community as a whole. Whether it’s dealing with drug addiction, raising children right, getting to work on time and performing, teaching a good moral code to our kids, vaccinating or my all time favourite pet peeve…. Gun laws. Yes this is a gun laws post, Americans are going to flame me, tell me I have no idea what I’m taking about or just downright refuse to even hear me out. That’s ok, that’s their loss. What I have to say might not be new, it might be something you’ve heard a million times but I have to get it off my chest. But I CHALLENGE you to read this, read the links, watch the videos and then REALLY think.
No I’m not American. I have NOTHING against Americans generally though I accept that some nations and nationalities do. Fair call on a lot of it. But living in a country they have yet to wrong, I won’t delve into those issues. Not because I don’t have an opinion, let’s face it I have an opinion on everything. But I refuse to piss all over another’s grievance without an insider perspective and what some might call an ignorant view. That may or may not be fair but it’s not a line I am comfortable or willing to walk. Though gun laws/reform that I HAVE experienced first hand and feel qualified enough to comment.
I live in a mixed economy nation, it’s a bastardised version of capitalism and socialism. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but it’s also not all types of fucked up. This week saw the tragic story of a gun instructor being fatally wounded in Arizona while teaching a 9-year-old how to fire a powerful firearm. I’m not versed in firearms but from the video I’ve seen, the recoil alone leads me to believe this is a powerful weapon and NOT one a 9-year-old should be touching let alone learning to shoot with. Why? I think the consequences of the incident speak for themselves.
I’ve heard excuses, which are the total bullshit “reasons” as to how it all went wrong. Ranging from she was holding the gun wrong, to the instructor should have been holding it with her down to criticism of the shoes she was wearing. If a shoe critique is all you can take away from this tragedy, I seriously need to fucking point out your priorities are ALL wrong. What I want to know, is WHY a 9-year-old firstly needs to learn to shoot and secondly why with such a high power weapon? My brain boggles.
What boggles my brain even further, though I have now managed to grasp, is that Americans HATE anything that they perceive to take away their personal freedom. This includes the second amendment and the right to bare arms. Which by the way if you survey 100 Americans, less than 10% (researched statistic and peer-reviewed) actually know why the second amendment was written. It was NOT written for “self-protection” the way it is coined today or to protect yourself from some unlucky bastard who happens upon your property. It was implemented as a precaution on two levels. To overthrow a tyrannical government, which the secret service kinda put an end to and to protect the freedom your new colony had from a invasion from the British. I can say with absolute certainty that that no longer a concern. The British are well and truly over it, they don’t want you back. No offense.
So now we have gun-toting Americans carrying around concealed weapons, permit or not, for self-protection. You feel threatened and you’re free to shoot to kill. The definition of threatened is not well established by law. It’s a fuzzy grey area. Those are the worst, the most dangerous and also the most easily exploitable.
I recently sent a few of my hard-core left-wing gun supporting friends proposed gun reform. Our gun reform laws. Bar the part about “necessity” for owning a gun, which is a small part, I can honestly say pretty much all of them agreed that these laws seemed reasonable. The difference? Reform doesn’t infer control or the taking away of civil rights. They were even more astonished that these were the laws that Americans had just vetoed.
Now I’m not sure about you but I love that I live in a culture where I don’t have to worry about sending my children to school for fear of them being shot and schools don’t have metal detectors. I love the fact I can take a walk through most neighborhoods and not worry about being mugged or having a gun stuck in my face. Of course we have “bad areas and high crime/drug areas” but we also have specialized crime and drug units that are into this shit like you wouldn’t believe.
18 years ago we had our last mass shooting, where 35 innocent people were shot dead. Sweeping gun reforms were introduced and all the same arguments that Americans have today were argued. The government pushed on. They had a buy back scheme and if after that grace period you were caught with an illegal firearm, you were in serious shit. The jail time serious shit. Since then? ZERO massacres.
I cannot do the legislation justice in this post or the outcomes so I direct you here;
The common misconception is that we CANNOT have guns here. The reality is you can, if you have a legitimate reason, pass psychological testing and go through the cooling off period of at least a month, while your application is evaluated.
So instead of ME trying to change your mind. I ask Americans to look back over the tragedies over the last decades. Reflect on the innocent lives lost and THEN read my link. Then see how you feel. Maybe you will feel no different, maybe you will agree with some and maybe you will disagree. But the bottom line is gun reform worked here. We had the same issues, the same arguments but not the attachment to the “second amendment”. Don’t think this was an easy process and that there wasn’t massive objection but the government pushed on for what turned out to be the greater good.
I also invite you to watch these three links. Just to get a bit more perspective. Watch all three.
After all of this. The question I ask of you dear reader, is gun reform actually a real loss of freedom or are you taking it back?